What Causes Plumbing Leaks?

Have you ever wondered why a plumbing leak happens in the first place?

One day everything is fine, then seemingly for no reason a leak starts.

Most household leaks are simply a result of age and wear-and-tear. Preventing these leaks is a matter of knowing where the leaks come from and what to do before they happen again. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Most Common Causes Of Plumbing Leaks

Eventually all pipes will leak.  Given enough time, age is the enemy of everything.  Several factors can directly impact when it happens. Here are the most common causes of plumbing leaks:

  • Broken seals
    Most appliances have seals installed at the point where water flows into them. Like any other part of a fixture, these seals can wear out over time. When a seal wears out or breaks, some of the water that should flow into the appliance may instead leak out.
  • Clogs
    Clogs cause water to back up, placing a lot of pressure on the inside of the pipe. Over time, the pressure can wear down the seals and the sides of pipe walls. When the pressure grows to be too much for the weakened pipe walls or seals to take, they will break and create a leak.
  • Corrosion.
    Of course, the inside of pipe walls may begin to corrode or rust over time. Hard water or particularly high water pressure can speed up this process significantly. As pipes corrode, they weaken.  The pressure or force of water flowing through them becomes too much. Eventually, bad things happen.

How To Prevent Plumbing Leaks

It has been said that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  The best way to prevent plumbing leaks from happening is to take good care of your plumbing. A little maintenance is all it takes.

  • Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners
    Never use chemical drain cleaners. Chemical drain cleaners are marketed as a quick, easy fix for clogs, but they’re not. Chemical drain cleaners don’t distinguish between a clog and your pipes!. If you use drain cleaners too frequently, they will eat away at the inside of your pipes. Eventually, they might chew through your pipes entirely, creating a leak.
  • Drains are not garbage cans
    Never use your drains for large items. Most pipe leaks happen for one of 2 reasons.  The first is loose fittings. The second is clogs that place too much pressure on your pipe walls. If you are flushing things you shouldn’t, you’re far more likely to cause clogs that require drain cleaning. The more likely you are to cause a clog, the more likely you are to cause a leak.

What to do if you have a leak

While many leaks can be fixed yourself, we have seen many cases where a small leak was actually an indication of bigger problems to come.  It might be worth calling the Team at Garden City – if you have a home or business in the Missoula, Montana area.  We’ll be happy to help!